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Satya Nadella emphasizes commitment to gaming in earnings calls, teases xCloud public trial

Yesterday, Microsoft revealed that Xbox Live grew to 64 million active users over the last fiscal quarter. The gaming division is going strong, as its revenue grew by eight percent to $4.23 billion. This can mostly be attributed to strong third-party sales.

Microsoft head Satya Nadella shared more details about the future of gaming at the company during the earnings call. He said the following.

We continue to pursue our expansive opportunity to transform how games are distributed, played, and viewed. Our investments in content, community, and cloud services across every endpoint drove both record user engagement and record average revenue per user, and contributed to our largest gaming revenue quarter ever, driven by software and services. We acquired two new studios this quarter, bringing the total to thirteen, and more than doubling our first-party content capacity in the past six months... Xbox Game Pass subscribers and Mixer engagement also hit new all-time highs. And Minecraft, which continues to be one of the most popular and durable gaming franchises in the industry, delivered record revenue as we expanded into new platforms, geographies and segments like Education... PlayFab surpassed one billion player accounts this quarter, and xCloud will be in public trials later this year as we make progress on our ambition to build a world-class gaming platform spanning mobile, PC, and console.

It's great to see that Xbox Game Pass, Mixer, Minecraft are doing so well. We can't wait until xCloud public trials begin later this year. Hopefully they'll be announced at E3 2019. Microsoft is committed to gaming, and that show.

Are you interested in xCloud? Let us know.

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • Ah, how times have changed. I remember when analysts were telling Microsoft to spin off Xbox, and drop the business. It is great to see this, and that Microsoft is committed as ever to gaming. I'm excited for xCloud as well. Really because it takes technology that was originally meant for business and brings it into a consumer side. Although a consumer will never see it up front, it is amazing that they have the capability of game streaming. This is really going to set them apart, because unlike other companies, they won't have to "pay" for the infrastructure to run game streaming.
  • > Ah, how times have changed Meanwhile, Sony's mobile division is losing more than gaming is gaining...
    Nintendo? Is evaluating if they should continue their HW business.
  • Microsoft’s honestly the only console manufacturer I’m still excited about so it’s good to hear the early days of the Xbox One didn’t get them down. I recently retired my 9 year old gaming PC and went with the One X and GamePass instead and couldn’t be happier. I do wish the UI was significantly improved but otherwise I’m back in the Xbox game and love it. They’re the only people doing backwards compatability well too. Here’s hoping xCloud makes things even better
  • Sony sheep won't be happy with this news ;)
  • xCloud is built for 5G. Availability will be very limited in 2019, networks and devices. And expensive. The "public" trials of xCloud will be a subset of those users.
  • Or, you know, 5 GHz home WiFi networks
  • Interesting how X Box has adopted Sadella's 'sell services, not products' mindset with gaming as well. What do I mean by that ? Well, look at Game Pass. It's a service, that for $10/mo gives you access to a library of games, including new ones by Microsoft. They're taking a loss on direct sales of their newer games such as Forza Horizon 4, and instead they give them to users who pay for their subscription services. (And let's be honest, if you pay for game pass, you probably (or maybe it's required?) pay for Xbox Gold as well. So instead of a few people paying $60 for a game, they now have a LOT paying $10 for a lot of games. And being the content is updated every month, subscribers end up spending more on the subscriptions than they would on buying 2-3 games a year. And it also means that your revenue isn't devoted to appealing to the hardcore gamer. Pretty smart strategy. Like focusing on selling office instead of Surface computers, people who want to play the games for cheap HAVE to buy an xbox to do so.
  • Gold is not required if you don't play multiplayer. Unlimited storage, cross-platform (incl. PC) cloud save is free for everyone. 2 things that can stop user from leaving an ecosystem are.
    1) time : game saves.
    2) money : game lib, DLC, in-game items, etc.
    GamePass gives users or new comers an instant game lib boost (and you might start trying games you normally won't buy), and if users start investing time and money... xCloud (with techs like AI user-input-prediction and co-rendering to reduce latency) == gamepad gaming on the go, in the coffee store or on the bus == ads. And existing users can help bringing their friends into the ecosystem. Some of those new comers might be playing Xbox games on a phone or low specs NBs, but, what if you want to enjoy the game, continue your game progress in the living room on a bigger TV with good speakers, running the game natively for best experiences? "Game Play Best on Xbox". Plus, if XPA is available and your device is compatible (e.g. intel based or ARM based NB), you can choose to run your game natively on those. It's prob a more viable solution if you want to game on a plane or bullet train. As a Xbox owner, why would you want to continue your progress on the go?
    As a new comer playing Xbox games on a phone... you own the game, progression is stored on the cloud, why not game on a xbox for best experiences?
  • Xbox must have its own personnality to open up to others platform